Be Careful When Strangers Suddenly Become Nice to You By Babatunde Olugboji
As we continue the series demonstrating that good will eventually prevail over evil, using the narrative of the vegetable garden in 1 Kings 21, a key question is whether you realize that having knowledge of evil being committed makes you as guilty as the perpetrator? At the center of the narrative was Jezebel, one of the three scriptural bad girls, the other two being Potiphar’s lying wife and treacherous Delilah who led Samson down a ruinous path.
King Ahab, Jezebel’s husband, sought to take over the patch of land belonging to Naboth, who steadfastly refused. Ahab told Naboth: I will pay you or give you another land. Some people think everything is about money, not principles. An unhappy Ahab sulked, refused to eat, and cried home to mama. For Jezebel, it was an opportunity to assert her dominance. “Now is the time to show yourself king over Israel,” she said scornfully. “I will get Naboth’s vineyard for you.” As if she owned it.
So, Jezebel wrote letters with Ahab’s seal, falsely accusing Naboth of blaspheming God. Were the elders fooled that the letters were written by Ahab? I don’t think so. They knew exactly who wrote them. So, why did they go along with the charade? Perhaps they were intimidated. Have you noticed that sometimes people know what is right but won’t speak up because they have been intimidated into submission? The Bible encourages us to stand firm, and not allow anything to move us. (1 Cor. 15:58)
The elders knew who was behind the whole travesty, the sham, the farce, and the pretense. Perhaps they thought if they didn’t go along with it, they could be killed. They saw themselves as being placed between the rock and the hard place, that their queen was telling them: Get paid for doing it or pay with your life for not doing it! Do it otherwise you’ll end up in the morgue. Thank God for people like the Hebrew boys in Daniel who would not bend, or yield, who were principled, even when facing intense pressure.
You should be careful when strangers suddenly become nice to you, making you feel important. If Naboth had paused to consider Jezebel’s offer, maybe things would have turned out differently. So, scoundrels described as the children of Belial (2 Cor. 6:15) were made to testify against him. He was stoned to death.
Naboth left his home for what he thought was an event to honor him, not knowing that he was going into a place of horror; that a trap was set for him. He never got back home, never saw his kids growing up, never witnessed the next harvest in his vineyard, never saw the rising and the setting of the sun, never saw another full moon. Life was snuffed out of him under the trickery and cunning of Jezebel. Ahab watched, as his wife worked this evil scheme, which made him just as guilty.
My prayer for you this week is that every trap set by the devil for you will entrap those behind the evil scheme. Every prophet of Baal witnessing against you shall be exposed. God will give you the courage to stand firm and not be like the elders who collaborated with Jezebel in taking Naboth’s life.
Have a great week.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column is written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.